Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell has signed into law a budget for Pennsylvania that reduces the share of revenue horse racing gets from slot machines by about 17% over four years.
Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment and the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association announced Dec. 10 they have extended their live racing contract at Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack for seven years, with Greenwood promising to make substantial improvements to the backstretch as well as revert most of the grandstand back to a venue for horseplayers.
The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association was granted the right to intervene in proceedings to determine whether a temporary slot-machine facility at Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack should be considered permanent.
The horsemen's group at Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack is fighting a petition by the track to add to its temporary slot-machine casino and delay construction of a permanent facility.
With slot machines coming on line next week, Philadelphia Park announced a 40% boost in overall purses for the beginning of the 2007 season.
A Pennsylvania lawmaker April 15 introduced legislation that would give horsemen 25% of gross revenue from racetrack slot machines. The bill also includes provisions for health benefits and live-racing protection.
The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association is opposed to a racetrack gaming bill that would award 15% of gross revenue to purses and 1% to breed development. Meanwhile, an official at Philadelphia Park said he can't understand the horsemen's position.
Horsemen and management at Philadelphia Park came to terms on a live racing agreement Dec. 30 and averted a shutdown of live racing and simulcasting at the Pennsylvania track.
Live racing at Philadelphia Park could be suspended Jan. 1, 2003 if management and horsemen are unable to come to terms on a new live racing agreement, which expires at the end of December. Horsemen are particularly concerned over language in the contract that protects their share of purse revenue.
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